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Liquid Methamphetamine, Cocaine and Heroin Seized by CBP

Release Date: 
March 3, 2014

El Paso, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers and U.S. Border Patrol agents working at the El Paso port of entry made multiple drug seizures this weekend. The most notable included a vehicle with several gallons of liquid methamphetamine in the fuel tank and another car that had large amounts of cocaine and heroin concealed in the engine compartment.

“These are all sizeable and significant drug loads,” said Hector Mancha, CBP El Paso Port Director. “Anytime you stop multiple-pound loads of methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin you are having an impact.”

The methamphetamine seizure was made at 10:30 a.m. Sunday at the Ysleta international crossing. CBP officers and Border Patrol agents were conducting an enforcement sweep of vehicles waiting in line to enter the U.S. when CBP drug sniffing dog “Shake” alerted to a 1999 Ford Explorer in the line. CBP officers and Border Patrol agents examined the vehicle and noticed a number of discrepancies in the appearance of the underside of the SUV. A CBP officer used a fiber optic scope to examine the inside of the fuel tank and spotted a non-factory wall inside the tank. The vehicle was scanned with the Z-Portal x-ray system which also showed an anomaly in the fuel tank.

The fuel tank was removed and CBP personnel noted that half the tank was filled with a thick brown and pink shaded liquid. The contents of that portion of the fuel tank tested positive for methamphetamine. The estimated weight of the fuel tank containing the liquid methamphetamine was approximately 129 pounds.

CBP officers arrested the driver of the vehicle. He is identified as 52-year-old Gerardo Diaz Cerda of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. He was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations special agents to face charges associated with the failed smuggling attempt.

The cocaine and heroin seizure was made at 7:15 p.m. Saturday at the Paso Del Norte international crossing. CBP officers and Border Patrol agents were conducting an enforcement sweep of vehicles waiting in line to enter the U.S. when CBP drug sniffing dog “Doky” alerted to a 2002 Jeep Liberty in the line. A CBP officer examined the engine compartment and noticed that the battery contained multiple tape-wrapped bundles. The vehicle was moved to the secondary inspection area where a Z-Portal x-ray scan also showed anomalies. CBP personnel continued their exam and located a total of seven bundles in the car battery and under the vehicle’s air filter. Five bundles contained 7.5 pounds of heroin while two bundles were filled with 2.6 pounds of cocaine.

CBP officers arrested the driver of the vehicle. He is identified as 27-year-old Omar Eduardo Vega Salas of Chihuahua City, Mexico. He was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations special agents to face charges associated with the failed smuggling attempt.

While anti-terrorism is the primary mission of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the inspection process at the ports of entry associated with this mission results in impressive numbers of enforcement actions in all categories.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017